The top three concerns for teens, according to surveys, are appearance, popularity, and self-esteem. In a world of unrealistic standards, sometimes the most excruciating suffering can be caused by a perceived problem in any one of these three areas. Remembering that nobody’s perfect, and that you are unique, will help you appreciate your special beauties and bolster your pride in yourself as you work on the areas that you feel need improvement.

If you are a teen looking to lose weight you should take a different approach because the teen body is in a different life phase from the adult body. It has different needs and different responses to how it uses food and exercise.  The teen body, in general, drops weight more easily because teen metabolism is easier to stimulate and responds more readily to changes in activity level and calorie content.

When I was young I could drop 10 pounds in about a week with minor tweaks in my diet and lifestyle. As I got older, my body did not respond as quickly to those same types of changes.

The first thing you need to discover is this: What is a normal healthy weight for your height and body type? Be realistic, and realize not everyone is built to fit into a size 0 pair of jeans. A larger frame means a few more pounds looks better on you than it would on someone with a smaller frame. Bone structure does make a difference.

Don’t skip meals! It might seem tempting to do, but you have to keep your metabolic rate up in order to lose weight. Skipping meals slows it down. The best foods for weight loss are lean meats, fruit, vegetables and nuts. Processed foods that contain preservatives, nitrites, chemicals, sodium and colors can also cause your body to retain fluid and reduce your energy levels.  Fast food is too high in calories and unhealthy fats and sodium. Here is a list of foods you should eat:

  • Lean meat- skinless baked chicken breast, turkey, beef loin or round, pork tenderloin, lamb tenderloin.
  • vegetables- make it vegetables that contain fiber, like beans, and vitamin C like broccoli, or peppers that contain capsicum, and your metabolism will receive a boost which helps you lose weight faster.
  • fruit- apples give your body quick energy, and bananas are great for just providing the carbs and energy needed for a workout.
  • Superfoods are super for giving you energy and immune-boosting phyto-chemicals so you can stay energized and on top of your game.
  • Drink water, not sodas. Water helps your body by flushing fat and also keeps you from feeling hungry.
  • The most important meal of the day is breakfast, which is the meal that will kick-start your fat-burning mechanism. The best breakfast to do that is…pineapple! Pineapple requires more energy to digest, and if you add about 30 minutes of exercise to your breakfast routine your metabolism will be kicked up even higher. Don’t worry about the sugars in pineapple, the fact that you are starting the day with it means you will burn off the sugar before your next meal.
  • Diet foods contain chemicals like aspartame and sucralose. I do not recommend them for anyone who wants to be leaner as well as healthy. Aspartame has been linked to so many health conditions, from heart disease to migraines and even brain tumors that I am very careful not to eat those additives. Sucralose and aspartame have also been found to cause weight gain, in addition to possible cancer risks.

Here are some foods that are known for boosting metabolism: apples, protein shakes, white fish, chicken, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, black coffee (Stevia is a healthy, 0-calorie sweetener if you like your coffee sweet), egg whites, grapefruit, green tea, and last but not least, chili peppers and red pepper flakes. I drink cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water every morning. Not only is it healthy, it cranks up my metabolism and makes me feel alert and energized. I become a hot mama!

Park in the “outfield” at work or school, so you have to walk farther to get to where you’re going. The point is to WALK MORE. One reason many Europeans are slimmer than many Americans is they walk or cycle more than we do, and they eat less processed and junk food, on the average. The more ways you can find to move and walk, the higher your metabolic rate will climb and that equals fat burning which equals weight loss. If you’re still in school, join a team, or the gym, and either learn a sport or get on an exercise routine. Practices and aerobic activity will help keep you in top condition and help you reach your goal. Don’t worry if you don’t get to play much at first, as you practice and stay involved, your skill set will improve and you will find yourself out on the field more and more.

Does your school have a weight room? The more muscle you can build the more calories you will burn. Crunches will tone your stomach if you have a little belly pooch. How about a swimming pool? If you are suffering from joint pain or other mobility issues, a swimming pool workout may be the right thing for you. Or a track? Walking the track and gradually working your way up to running the track will help you build your stamina and increase your metabolism. Come on, every school has at least one of these physical activity areas. If not, maybe there is a YMCA nearby you could make your “go to” weight training habitat. If all else fails, you can walk or run around your neighborhood or local park. Whatever you do, find a place to go that challenges you to get moving. Go there every day, even if it’s only for a half hour. Getting to your goal will take time, thought and effort but in the end you will see the results- and so can everyone you know!